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We live in a fast-paced world where we can spend hours on end at work, have groceries delivered to our door, click a button to get an Amazon order in 48 hours, and click another button to have a Chick-Fil-A meal brought to our car. We’ve learned to automate, streamline, and prioritize convenience like never before. And yet, more people are seeking counseling than ever before. What’s the correlation?

In this world that doesn’t stop spinning for anyone, some people are making time to slow down. These brave clients are standing in the gap and creating space for reflection, self-care, healing, and personal renewal. They are focusing on more meaningful priorities. Men and women are rebelling against the culture of convenience to find true satisfaction and joy.

This tells us a tide is turning. As the pace of the world spins faster and faster, its inhabitants are desiring to slow down and take notice. We’re realizing life isn’t about climbing a corporate ladder or finishing our to-do lists; the truth is coming out that we’re not actually at our best when we fill every moment with productivity.

It’s time to take a break. We need moments to rest, play, and reflect.


How many times have you woken up feeling sick, exhausted, or depressed, knowing that your body needed a day of rest, but you went to work regardless? As a nation, we tend to buy into the belief that a company having working employees every day is more important than our mental and physical health. In reality, we often need a day of rest more than we need a day spent making money. This belief that we must sacrifice our health for work comes from a similar belief: “I’ll be happy if I have more money.” It’s easy to believe that money will solve all our problems, but that’s not what the research tells us. Financial security is not an indicator of happiness; studies show that levels of happiness are correlated to financial income only up until a yearly salary of around $80,000.1Beyond that, happiness no longer correlates. This means that yes, financial security is a factor in feeling content, but it is not the answer to finding joy. Life is more than making money; working weeks and months on end with no reprieve will not lead to the happiness we desire. Taking time to rest builds resilience, wards off mental illness, and is a crucial component to living a life of joy.


Stuart Brown describes play as time that is “purposeless, fun, and pleasurable.” In a society that rewards achievement, play seems like goofing off or wasting time. All our life, we are rewarded for hard work: if you make high grades, you get into college; if you perform well in sports, you make varsity; if you put in a 60-hour work week, you get the promotion. Taking unstructured time to do nothing other than enjoy ourselves is counterintuitive to our nature. Though work and play seem to be opposing forces, work is not the opposite of play; research shows that the opposite of play is actually depression.If we want true, lasting joy, play must be a cornerstone of our life.


Each season of life has its own graces and lessons. Through pause and reflection, we unwrap these gifts that often remain hidden to us. This fast-paced life can hide these gifts with emails and lunches and errands, so it takes intentionality to make space to collect these graces.

Reflect on your day. Reflect on your school year. Reflect on your time at a job. Reflect on your time in a relationship. Reflect on your recurring emotions. Reflect on memories that keep resurfacing in your mind. Reflect on the hard moments that feel like a punch in the gut. Reflect on the moments that bring joy to your soul. Mentally pause and revisit these memories, taking notice of your feelings and thoughts. Write down these reflections in a journal to make these thoughts tangible and to revisit in a later season of life. Invite God into the conversation and allow the Holy Spirit to show you where He has been present. Unwrap the gift waiting for you in the everyday moments

We are human beings, not human doings. Take time to just be. Be present to yourself, your loved ones, and to God. Let yourself rest, play, and reflect.


1Broderick & Blewitt, The Life Span: Human development for helping, 2015

For more on Stuart Brown’s work: The National Institute for Play and Stuart Brown’s TED Talk on Play